“..an old, familiar image of this city as a den of racist white sports fans.”
That’s how The New York Times described Boston this morning.
It’s just like them, isn’t it, to ask the question that no one is asking: What’s the most racist sports town? Because they love nothing more than to try to make a thing more than what it is. So the good people of greater Boston, painfully disappointed folks whose favorite hockey team just lost a heartbreaker, are called to answer for some crazy (probably anonymous) Tweeters who used racist language to describe the Washington Capitals' Joel Ward, the African-Canadian right winger (ahem) who scored the game-winning, series-winning goal in overtime the other night against the Bruins. The Capitals now advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, where they will face the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
To the elite media, being angry or a little morose when your favorite team loses is too base to comprehend. I mean, what are we, Neanderthals? Interest rates on student loans are about to double, and you are angry about a stupid *game*?
Unless, of course, Boston is a racist city. If Boston is a racist city, then it all makes sense.
Here’s what happened: The goalie for the Bruins is Tim Thomas, a self-identified Republican who opted out of the traditional White House visit last year after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup. This was not received well in Left world. When the black Ward beat the white Thomas with his goal, some Bruins fans in the Twitter-verse responded with vile language, including the use of a racial epithet. A sports blogger at The Nation instantly connected the dots and discovered that they revealed an ugly truth:
Tim Thomas is the player who created a sports media firestorm by refusing to join his team and meet with President Obama after the Bruins won the 2012 Stanley Cup. To be clear, I have zero problems with athletes refusing to be part of presidential photo ops, but his political reasons are not irrelevant to what caused last night’s spasm of hate. Thomas is a proud, financial supporter of the Tea Party. He counts Glenn Beck as a hero and once emblazoned the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag on his helmet. When asked by reporters why he wouldn't meet with Obama, Thomas didn’t comment and instead referred people to his Facebook page, which had a paragraph about “out of control Federal government.”
To see no connection between the Tea Party, Glenn Beck and the politics of racial resentment is to subscribe to either blind ignorance or political cowardice. (Even Beck, last December, inferred that racism in the Tea Party drives anti-Obama animus.)
And so this is how we arrive once again, via an unlikely route through the NHL, at the familiar charge that Tea Party and small government folks are motivated by racism against a black president. No point trying to twist your way out of this one, Boston.
Here’s the fun part. Watch for yourself the supposedly inferred racism of Beck’s comments. What you will find, in fact, is a distortion, peddled by Think Progress (way to link outside the bubble, Nation blogger) of what Beck is actually saying. He does NOT infer that Tea Party members are racist. What he does is actually pretty sophisticted (Nation blogger’s head explodes). Beck, in a flight of “what if” type questions, says that if the Tea Party supports Newt Gingrich (whom Beck thinks is a progressive, just like Obama) but opposes Obama, then the Tea Party needs to ask itself whether it is motivated by racism. That’s a far cry from what your friendly Nation sports blogger implies.
Anyway, back to Beantown. I was interested in learning about Boston sports’ tricky history with race. But what could that possibly have to do with the Capitals' victory over the Bruins? Did Tim Thomas himself use the “N” word after Joel Ward scored the goal against him? That would be news. Did someone on the Bruins, or representing the team, make a racist comment? Would also probably be a story. Did the fans chant racist things as they left the Garden? Front pager.
But, no. None of those things happened. To find the racism in this story, you need to begin looking for it in the tangled weeds of your own assumptions. This is where the liberal media is so good at what it does: Boston has a history of racism. A black guy scored a goal. The goalie is a white Tea Partier. The Tea Party is racist. Somebody on Twitter used the “N” word. Add it all up?
Boston is a racist town.
We got ourselves a story here fellas. Run it.